Written by Bobbie Henderson, Vice President, KO Conference
For the last 30 years my nonprofit work included developing programs, seeking compatible funders, and submitting grant requests. During that time, I’ve always longed to be on the other side of that process – so its been a privilege and definitely a learning experience to participate with the Be The Church Grant Selection Committee.
We met recently to review the ten requests and on behalf of the Grant Selection Committee, I’m pleased to announce the awardees:
- Church of the Open Arms, UCC, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – The Green Alley project will result in a small park running from the end of the church property west to the end of the block with a curving concrete path for people and wheelchairs, with tables and benches that serve to create a green, peaceful place for people and pets to safely enjoy one another in the outdoors.
- Evangelical United Church of Christ, Marysville, Kansas – The project, Power Up Saturdays, will provide a Saturday brunch for children and youth, particularly older youth who are often excluded from nutrition programs, whose families struggle with challenges associated with poverty and too often cannot provide nutritious meals over weekends.
- First Congregational United Church of Christ, Great Bend, Kansas – Barton County Circles is a 12-week program offering families the essential tools to move beyond poverty. FCUCC will use Be The Church funds to expand their congregation’s participation by providing meals during the classes.
- First Congregational Church of Manhattan, Manhattan, Kansas – The Flint Hills Community Gospel Sing is a project that represents an extension of the congregation’s Conversations on Race and Reconciliation. Residents of Flint Hills will be invited to a weekend workshop of learning and singing Black Gospel Music for the purpose of strengthening the bonds among diverse community members.
- First Congregational Church, Topeka, Kansas – through Heart Work Community Building the church will be working on critical home renovations for low-income and senior homeowners many of whom have received property code violation citations, but cannot afford the necessary repairs.
- First Congregational UCC, Stockton, Kansas – recently Stockton has experienced a number of tragic accidents involving young men and women, devastating the community and their school. Ministering to the families of those who died and survivors with long-term recovery prospects has taken a toll and the community needs a message and structure for healing. Overcoming Obstacles-A Program of Growth for Youth And Adults provides a means for local church youth programs to coordinate an inspiring vision of hope, faith, and skills.
- Trinity United Christian Church, Cheney, Kansas – The Backpack Project will address the need of 268 students in the Cheney School District who need additional food for the days when school is not in session, mainly weekends, seasonal breaks, and other days during the year, with a particular emphasis on middle and high school youth who are not served by the Kansas Food Bank backpack project.
Representatives of grantee churches from both the first and second rounds will be at the 2018 Annual Meeting in Wichita, on Friday and Saturday, October 12 and 13, to provide more information about their projects. In another article in this week’s E-News, Pastor Julie A. Shields of the Evangelical UCC in Marysville shares the church’s vision for their Power Up Saturday project.
Thanks to the other members of the Grant Selection Committee: Mandy Cook, , Heidi Hawkinson, and Suzanne Nichols.